New Zealand Consumer housing confidence in May -ANZ-Roy Morgan By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk in front of a supermarket displaying a sale sign in central Wellington, New Zealand, July 3, 2017. Picture taken July 3, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray

SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand consumer confidence was flat in May compared with the previous month and remained at its lowest level as consumers remained under pressure amid rising inflation, ANZ-Roy Morgan data showed on Friday.

The consumer confidence index fell slightly to 79.2 in May from 79.3 in April. A reading above 100 indicates optimism, while below indicates pessimism.

“Although the labor market is still strong, providing adequate job security and strong wage growth, the high cost of living, including a 38% interest rate for households with debt, continues to bite,” ANZ’s Chief Economist. Sharon Zollner said in a statement.

“Uncertainty is no doubt weighing on it as well, with the (Reserve Bank of New Zealand) still trying to reduce the economy to reduce the deficit.”

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